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Comcast blocking personal mail servers
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 16:22:48 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Robert Alberti <alberti () sanction net>
Date: April 9, 2006 2:44:38 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Comcast blocking personal mail servers
Reply-To: alberti () sanction net

For IP if you deem appropriate...

I run my own mail and web server, and over the last few weeks I have
begun receiving messages such as this one following an e-mail to my
birthmother...

  550 Comcast does not support the direct connection to its mail
  servers from residential IPs. Your mail should be sent to comcast.net
  users through your ISP. Please contact your ISP or mail administrator
  for more information.

I am quite annoyed by this message.  On the one hand, I understand a
desire to limit spam.  On the other hand, I doubt this will be
particularly effective or that it is justified.

If I were a Comcast customer I could protest this move by canceling my
service. But I am not a Comcast customer: why should I be subject to
their foolish rules and what recourse have I?  My birthmother IS a
Comcast customer: is she being served by this policy?  I checked
Comcast's website, and while it mentions a 48-hour anti-spam blocking
policy, there is no mention of this more permanent policy.

It seems if I want to communicate with Comcast and other ISPs with this
policy, I must reconfigure my mail server to send through my local ISP
server.  This adds another point of failure into the process of sending
and receiving e-mail.  And it offers an additional point of exposure for
my e-mail (and please don't talk to me about e-mail encryption until you
produce for me a product that can be remotely supported from a thousand
miles away).

Finally, what right does this company have to inhibit my communications?
Would I be pleased to find that the phone company had determined that a
lot of prank calls came from pay phones, and tried to "help" me by
preventing pay phones from calling my home?  I don't think so.

If I wish to contact my birthmother I must either use another address
(such as a Yahoo or Hotmail address, where as we all know no spam
originates), or waste my time reconfiguring my mail server to relay
through my ISP.  And for what good?

--
Robert Alberti, CISSP, ISSMP                      <alberti () sanction net>
Sanction, Inc.                                Phone: (612) 486-5000 x211
PO Box 583453                                   Fax: (612) 486-5000
Mpls, MN 55458-3453                              http://www.sanction.net
"So you've backed up your data...   Have you ever tested recovering it?"



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